2020 Nissan Frontier vs 2019 RAM 1500

2019 RAM 1500
2019 RAM 1500
$27,645MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 RAM 1500
$27,645MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2019 RAM 1500 is 8.8 out of 10, while the 2020 Nissan Frontier scores 5.0 out of 10. Given these ratings, the clear recommendation is the 2019 RAM 1500. With its advanced safety features, superior performance, modern technology, and upscale interior, it stands well above the older and less equipped Frontier. The RAM 1500 is the preferred choice for those seeking a well-rounded, capable, and luxurious truck experience.

Overview

MSRP

$27,645

MSRP

$26,790

Average price

$28,872

Average price

$24,666

Listings

4576

Listings

285
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Expert reviews

5.0 out of 10
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Stylish design
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Off-road capability
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor value for money
  • Outdated technology

2019 RAM 1500 Reviews Summary

Sometimes you have to stop and consider just how far full-size trucks have come. I've said this before, but trucks have evolved from basic work vehicles to comfortable family haulers. Once the home of bench seats and crank windows, full-size pickups are now available with creature comforts that one might expect to find in a luxury vehicle. These are all to make the truck more comfortable for daily commuting while retaining its capabilities for the weekend warrior.

Ram has really owned the commuter-truck concept dating back to 2009, which was the first 1500 to swap out rear leaf springs for a multi-link rear suspension. This was a big moment in trucks, signaling the inevitable creep toward commuter trucks. The public has responded, and not just toward Ram—Ford, Chevy, GMC, and the rest of the pickup market have been making their trucks more and more comfortable. Trucks have gotten more expensive as they've become more comfortable, yet people keep buying them at ever-increasing price points.

And the 2019 Ram 1500 takes that everyday commuter-truck concept to new heights. This truck offers more comfort and refinement than any truck we’ve ever driven. But the real question is: Has it moved too far into the comfort zome, or can it perform the jobs of both a daily driver and a workhorse?

Search for a RAM 1500 on CarGurus

2020 Nissan Frontier Reviews Summary

Nissan is celebrating the Frontier’s Sweet 16 this year, but this is not a coming-of-age milestone. Rather, it’s a long-overdue retirement party. And the Frontier is going out with a bang thanks to a brand-new engine and transmission that give a preview of what the next-generation Frontier has in store. Just make sure you don’t get into an accident, or you’ll get pretty banged up yourself.

No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.6L 305 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle

Engine

3.8L 310 hp V6

Drive Train

4X2

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

3

Seating Capacity

4

Horsepower

305 hp @ 6400 rpm

Horsepower

310 hp @ 6400 rpm

MPG City

17

MPG City

18

MPG Highway

25

MPG Highway

24
2019 RAM 1500
2019 RAM 1500
$27,645MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2019 RAM 1500
$27,645MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2019 RAM 1500 is 8.8 out of 10, while the 2020 Nissan Frontier scores 5.0 out of 10. Given these ratings, the clear recommendation is the 2019 RAM 1500. With its advanced safety features, superior performance, modern technology, and upscale interior, it stands well above the older and less equipped Frontier. The RAM 1500 is the preferred choice for those seeking a well-rounded, capable, and luxurious truck experience.

Overview
MSRP
$27,645
$26,790
Average price
$28,872
$24,666
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.6
4.6
Expert reviews

8.8 out of 10

Read full review

5.0 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Stylish design
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Off-road capability
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor value for money
  • Outdated technology
Summary

Sometimes you have to stop and consider just how far full-size trucks have come. I've said this before, but trucks have evolved from basic work vehicles to comfortable family haulers. Once the home of bench seats and crank windows, full-size pickups are now available with creature comforts that one might expect to find in a luxury vehicle. These are all to make the truck more comfortable for daily commuting while retaining its capabilities for the weekend warrior.

Ram has really owned the commuter-truck concept dating back to 2009, which was the first 1500 to swap out rear leaf springs for a multi-link rear suspension. This was a big moment in trucks, signaling the inevitable creep toward commuter trucks. The public has responded, and not just toward Ram—Ford, Chevy, GMC, and the rest of the pickup market have been making their trucks more and more comfortable. Trucks have gotten more expensive as they've become more comfortable, yet people keep buying them at ever-increasing price points.

And the 2019 Ram 1500 takes that everyday commuter-truck concept to new heights. This truck offers more comfort and refinement than any truck we’ve ever driven. But the real question is: Has it moved too far into the comfort zome, or can it perform the jobs of both a daily driver and a workhorse?

Search for a RAM 1500 on CarGurus

Nissan is celebrating the Frontier’s Sweet 16 this year, but this is not a coming-of-age milestone. Rather, it’s a long-overdue retirement party. And the Frontier is going out with a bang thanks to a brand-new engine and transmission that give a preview of what the next-generation Frontier has in store. Just make sure you don’t get into an accident, or you’ll get pretty banged up yourself.

Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.6L 305 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle
3.8L 310 hp V6
Drive Train
4X2
4X2
Seating Capacity
3
4
Horsepower
305 hp @ 6400 rpm
310 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG City
17
18
MPG Highway
25
24
Look and feel
2019 RAM 1500
9/10
2020 Nissan Frontier
8/10
The 2019 RAM 1500 boasted a design evolution, refining its big-rig styling into a commanding yet manageable presence. Unlike the overly bulky 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the RAM 1500 used its strategically placed headlights, which cascaded down the sides of the hood, to offer better sight lines and a sense of proportion. One noticeable change for RAM buyers was the absence of the signature crosshair grille. This shift not only distinguished RAM from Dodge, which then struggled beyond its Challenger and Charger models, but also allowed for differentiated grille designs across its trims. Each trim of the 1500 showcased unique grille designs. For instance, the Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, and Laramie had larger headlights compared to the luxuriously furnished Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited, which sported sleeker headlights. Inside, the RAM 1500 continued its trend of exceptional design. The interior had sections arranged on different planes, creating a dramatic and contoured feel. The Tradesman trim was the epitome of a work truck. It excelled with standard heavy-duty shock absorbers, tinted windows, and an 18-inch steel wheelbase. Conversely, trims like The Big Horn and Rebel introduced chrome accents, leather-wrapped steering wheels, electronically locking differentials, upgraded shock absorbers, and sport performance hoods. The Laramie trim enhanced the interior with conveniences such as power side mirrors with turn signals and LED ambient lighting, while the Longhorn and Limited trims added even more luxury with features like 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels, wood interior inserts, and premium leather seating. The 2020 Nissan Frontier, on the other hand, maintained a design harking back to its 2005 roots, which remarkably still held aesthetic appeal. The PRO-4X trim stood out with a distinctive tube-style roof rack, 16-inch alloy wheels, knobby tires, and bold bedside graphics. Available in King Cab and Crew Cab styles, Frontier models ranged from the base S and mid-grade SV trims to the more equipped PRO-4X. Each trim presented unique attributes, such as the Value Truck Package for the SV trim and various special editions. The Frontier’s interior was a time capsule to mid-2000s design—symmetrical and modular with an abundance of silver plastic. Although not luxurious, it was solidly built, free from squeaks and rattles, delivering a retro charm. However, the plastic-heavy interior and basic appearance underscored its aged nature.
Performance
2019 RAM 1500
10/10
2020 Nissan Frontier
8/10
The 2019 RAM 1500 offered a versatile engine lineup. The base 3.6-liter V6, now with eTorque integration, produced 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The eTorque system added an extra 90 pound-feet of torque, enhancing the powertrain's performance. The more powerful 5.7-liter Hemi V8, with an optional eTorque system, delivered 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, with an additional 130 pound-feet from the eTorque. Both engines were mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, supporting either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or available four-wheel drive (4WD). Driving the RAM 1500 was described as effortless, with its heavily boosted steering and tight turning radius. The V8's power delivery was linear and robust, making accelerations smooth and powerful. The truck’s ride quality was commendable, handling bumpy roads with composed responsiveness. Depending on the chosen engine and equipment, the RAM 1500’s towing capacity peaked at 12,750 pounds. Fuel economy for the 4WD Hemi V8 was rated at 15 mpg city, 21 highway, and 17 combined, with slightly better figures for RWD versions. Conversely, the 2020 Nissan Frontier featured a new 3.8-liter V6 engine paired exclusively with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This new powertrain developed 310 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 281 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, offering a significant improvement over the previous engine options. Despite its advancements, the Frontier’s maximum tow rating remained at 6,720 pounds. The updated V6 provided a smoother, more refined driving experience compared to its predecessor. The nine-speed automatic transmission enabled quick and clean shifts, making acceleration strong and responsive. However, the Frontier's overall driving dynamics felt dated. While the Bilstein off-road shocks performed admirably in rugged conditions, they transmitted road imperfections into the cabin. Additionally, the steering response was slow, and the turning radius remained wide.
Form and function
2019 RAM 1500
10/10
2020 Nissan Frontier
5/10
The 2019 RAM 1500 excelled in offering practical storage and innovative features. For example, our Laramie test vehicle featured a power-release tailgate, although it lacked a fully automated mechanism like that of the Silverado. The RAM 1500's interior was thoughtfully designed, with rear doors opening nearly 90 degrees and flip-up rear seats for easy loading of large items. The seats themselves offered a unique reclining mechanism by sliding the bottom cushion forward. The Laramie trim provided added convenience with dual rear USB ports and large storage compartments, including the handy Ram Bins located near the rear doors. Up front, the massive center console with a sliding mid-level tray, adjustable pedals, and dual gloveboxes made for a highly functional cabin. In comparison, the 2020 Nissan Frontier offered ample storage options despite its dated layout. The center console, though somewhat sparse, was supplemented by dual glove compartments and a decent-sized bin under the center armrest. The PRO-4X trim came with an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, which, while supportive, lacked the long-term comfort of Nissan’s Zero Gravity designs. The rear seat room was tight, with a flat bench seat and limited backrest angle, devoid of rear air conditioning vents or USB ports. The Frontier’s cargo bed, equipped with a standard spray-in bedliner and the Utili-Track channel system, was ready to handle up to 1,020 pounds of payload. However, its bed was relatively shallow at 18 inches and had a total volume of 27.1 cubic feet. In comparison, when properly equipped, the RAM 1500 could handle significantly more payload and had greater overall cargo versatility with features like the Ram Box utility system.
Technology
2019 RAM 1500
9/10
2020 Nissan Frontier
3/10
The 2019 RAM 1500 set new standards in truck technology, particularly with its available 12-inch touchscreen. Although our Laramie test truck featured the optional yet robust 8.4-inch screen, all models benefited from the latest Uconnect infotainment system. Uconnect's interface was intuitive with a tablet-like layout, and it offered crisp graphics and speedy responsiveness. Physical controls for frequently used functions complemented the touchscreen, making the system user-friendly. Meanwhile, the 2020 Nissan Frontier came with a much smaller 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Despite its compact size, the Frontier’s system included useful features like NissanConnect Apps, satellite radio, a navigation system, voice recognition, and a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. However, it lacked modern capabilities such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free were available for iPhone users, the overall tech offerings felt archaic compared to more modern competitors.
Safety
2019 RAM 1500
8/10
2020 Nissan Frontier
1/10
The 2019 RAM 1500 was well-equipped with standard safety features, including multiple airbags, an electronic parking brake, integrated trailer-sway control, traction control, hill-start assist, and a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines. Higher trims like the Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited provided further safety options, such as a 360-degree camera, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, and dynamic cruise control. By contrast, the 2020 Nissan Frontier had concerning safety ratings. The NHTSA gave it an overall rating of four stars, but its frontal-impact protection scores were low, particularly for the passenger seat. The IIHS ratings painted a similarly bleak picture, with "marginal" ratings for small overlap frontal impacts and "poor" ratings for headlights. Safety features in the Frontier were basic, limited to a reversing camera, antilock brakes, traction control, and stability control.
CarGurus logo

By: CarGurus + AI

At CarGurus, our team of experienced automotive writers remain at the heart of our content operation, conducting hands-on car tests and writing insightful guides that are backed by years of industry experience. To complement this, we are harnessing AI to make our content offering more diverse and more helpful to shoppers than ever. To achieve this, our AI systems are based exclusively on CarGurus content, ratings and data, so that what we produce is both unique to CarGurus, and uniquely helpful to car shoppers.